Monday, June 5, 2017

UIS student brings video games to life through an interactive event at the Illinois State Military Museum

Photo Courtesy: Chris McDonald
Lizzie Roehrs of Springfield, a junior communication major at the University of Illinois Springfield, has partnered with the Illinois State Military Museum to bring her love of military history and video games to life.

Roehrs created the “War Games” event, which will be held on Saturday, June 24, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Illinois State Military Museum, located at 1301 N MacArthur Blvd. in Springfield. The event is being held in conjunction with a WWII encampment.

Visitors will be able to interact with reenactors and historical equipment that are highlighted in popular World War Two (WWII) video games, such as “Call of Duty World at War”. They will also be able to talk with historians, try on uniforms, watch reenactments and weapons demonstrations, and explore a recreated trench. Unique artifacts, which are not usually available to the public, will also be display.

“The point of the event is to teach visitors about the real-life events and equipment behind what people see in video games,” said Roehrs. “This event is an opportunity for video game lovers and history buffs alike to come experience the weapons, gear and uniforms of World War Two first-hand.”

The event originally started as a hypothetical campaign in UIS Assistant Professor of Communication Ann Strahle’s Introduction to Public Relations class. However, Roehrs decided to take it a step further by creating the actual event at the Illinois State Military Museum where she is currently interning.

“My inspiration for this event came from wanting to find a way to bring a new crowd of people into the museum,” said Roehrs. “I wanted to find a connection between entertainment and history that would appeal to people who maybe aren't usually museum goers. I also wanted to show people that play these games that there is more to the history than what they see in a video game.”

Roehrs, a self-proclaimed “history buff”, says she’s always been interested in World War Two. Her father is a historian who specializes in military and diplomatic history of WWII and her grandfather is a WWII veteran.

For more information on the event, email Lizzie Roehrs at or contact the Illinois State Military Museum at 217/761-3910.

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